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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

‘The Year of the Flood’, Margaret Atwood

An uneasy and enthralling read that might not be fiction for much longer.

Written by Amy Hughes


charlielemindu

After witnessing a whole lot of jolly sensible fashion trends being bandied about – think short, page sleek, sophisticated and feminine – we were thrilled to see a total vision of insanity at the Blow Presents… show where the models barely human, let alone feminine. Ladies and gents, meet the new woman of 2010: the Fembot.

blowpresentsfembot

Wigmaker Charlie le Mindu’s collection made Danielle Scutt’s hairstyling look positively placid: models were bombing down the catwalking with “haute coiffure” teetering atop their tiny heads, like a warped modern paraphrase of 18th century wigs.

BlowpresentsCharliedelemindu

Squeezed into flesh-coloured PVC bodysuits, these were pneumatic bodies that resembled genetically mutated Barbies, with the hairpieces swelling into jackets (bearing a strong resemblance to Margiela’s two seasons ago) or even shoulder pads, evidently a trend that translates into the most avant-garde of arenas.

charlie

Margiela reared his head again with Gemma Slack’s collection, who by masking her models also evinced a preoccupation with the concealing of the face. With pieces constructed from leather and suede, it was a bold collection that turned the models into superheroes and warriors, with the conical bras making another resurgence as seen with Louise Goldin’s latest offering.

The inclusion metal studs and slashed leather also made it profoundly sexual – with the oppressive metal-plated umbrella and circular skirts mechanising the body, a territory previously explored, of course, by Hussein Chalayan. Unlike Chalayan this mechanisation was also sexualised, with the constant sado-masochistic details (even the traditional Burmese neck rings looked more like dog collars) in line with uncomfortable images of fetishised modernity that J.G Ballard expressed in Crash.

IMAGE

Next up was Lina Osterman, with a show styled by Robbie Spencer, with a evocation of Victoriana repression playing with the effects of concealing the body – a difference so far for a series of shows that has been all about long, bare legs.

IMAGE

A completely androgynous collection, there were undertaker-style long tailored jackets paired with trousers and shorts, with Osterman manifesting the Victorian secret obsession with sex, like Slack, with bondage-like details and choices in fabric. Lurking underneath all the bravado, however, was a surprisingly soft and wearable collection, with some fabulous knits and grandpa shirts both for the boys and the girls.

IMAGE

Finally upping the drama stakes was Iris van Herpen, with a slow and intense collection of sculpted leather and rubber – heavy and cumbersome pieces that were inspired by radiation waves around the body, results of collaboration with artist Bart Hess.

IMAGE

Proving a fantastic metaphor as a means of highlighting parts of the human body, this was true craftsmanship, with sequins and reflective panels catching the catwalk lights – as the models lined up together for the final few moments they seemed like soldiers with armour constructed from artwork.

A rather fascinating foursome on show, then, and at least Lady GaGa will have some new things to wear with those big pants of hers – well until next season anyway.


charlielemindu

After witnessing a whole lot of jolly sensible fashion trends being bandied about – think short, page sleek, order sophisticated and feminine – we were thrilled to see a total vision of insanity at the Blow Presents… show where the models barely human, let alone feminine. Ladies and gents, meet the new woman of 2010: the Fembot.

blowpresentsfembot

Wigmaker Charlie le Mindu’s collection made Danielle Scutt’s hairstyling look positively placid: models were bombing down the catwalking with “haute coiffure” teetering atop their tiny heads, like a warped modern paraphrase of 18th century wigs.

BlowpresentsCharliedelemindu

Squeezed into flesh-coloured PVC bodysuits, these were pneumatic bodies that resembled genetically mutated Barbies, with the hairpieces swelling into jackets (bearing a strong resemblance to Margiela’s two seasons ago) or even shoulder pads, evidently a trend that translates into the most avant-garde of arenas.

charlie

Margiela reared his head again with Gemma Slack’s collection, who by masking her models also evinced a preoccupation with the concealing of the face. With pieces constructed from leather and suede, it was a bold collection that turned the models into superheroes and warriors, with the conical bras making another resurgence as seen with Louise Goldin’s latest offering.

gemmaslack

The inclusion metal studs and slashed leather also made it profoundly sexual – with the oppressive metal-plated umbrella and circular skirts mechanising the body, a territory previously explored, of course, by Hussein Chalayan. Unlike Chalayan this mechanisation was also sexualised, with the constant sado-masochistic details (even the traditional Burmese neck rings looked more like dog collars) in line with uncomfortable images of fetishised modernity that J.G Ballard expressed in Crash.

fw_sat19_8

Next up was Lina Osterman, with a show styled by Robbie Spencer, with a evocation of Victoriana repression playing with the effects of concealing the body – a difference so far for a series of shows that has been all about long, bare legs.

fw_sat19_8

A completely androgynous collection, there were undertaker-style long tailored jackets paired with trousers and shorts, with Osterman manifesting the Victorian secret obsession with sex, like Slack, with bondage-like details and choices in fabric. Lurking underneath all the bravado, however, was a surprisingly soft and wearable collection, with some fabulous knits and grandpa shirts both for the boys and the girls.

mummyblowpr

Finally upping the drama stakes was Iris van Herpen, with a slow and intense collection of sculpted leather and rubber – heavy and cumbersome pieces that were inspired by radiation waves around the body, results of collaboration with artist Bart Hess.

fw_sat19_3

Proving a fantastic metaphor as a means of highlighting parts of the human body, this was true craftsmanship, with sequins and reflective panels catching the catwalk lights – as the models lined up together for the final few moments they seemed like soldiers with armour constructed from artwork.

IMG_0678

A rather fascinating foursome on show, then, and at least Lady GaGa will have some new things to wear with those big pants of hers – well until next season anyway.


charlielemindu

After witnessing a whole lot of jolly sensible fashion trends being bandied about – think short, visit sleek, mind sophisticated and feminine – we were thrilled to see a total vision of insanity at the Blow Presents… show where the models barely human, let alone feminine. Ladies and gents, meet the new woman of 2010: the Fembot.

blowpresentsfembot

Wigmaker Charlie le Mindu’s collection made Danielle Scutt’s hairstyling look positively placid: models were bombing down the catwalking with “haute coiffure” teetering atop their tiny heads, like a warped modern paraphrase of 18th century wigs.

BlowpresentsCharliedelemindu

Squeezed into flesh-coloured PVC bodysuits, these were pneumatic bodies that resembled genetically mutated Barbies, with the hairpieces swelling into jackets (bearing a strong resemblance to Margiela’s two seasons ago) or even shoulder pads, evidently a trend that translates into the most avant-garde of arenas.

charlie

Margiela reared his head again with Gemma Slack’s collection, who by masking her models also evinced a preoccupation with the concealing of the face. With pieces constructed from leather and suede, it was a bold collection that turned the models into superheroes and warriors, with the conical bras making another resurgence as seen with Louise Goldin’s latest offering.

gemmaslack

The inclusion metal studs and slashed leather also made it profoundly sexual – with the oppressive metal-plated umbrella and circular skirts mechanising the body, a territory previously explored, of course, by Hussein Chalayan. Unlike Chalayan this mechanisation was also sexualised, with the constant sado-masochistic details (even the traditional Burmese neck rings looked more like dog collars) in line with uncomfortable images of fetishised modernity that J.G Ballard expressed in Crash.

fw_sat19_8

Next up was Lina Osterman, with a show styled by Robbie Spencer, with a evocation of Victoriana repression playing with the effects of concealing the body – a difference so far for a series of shows that has been all about long, bare legs.

fw_sat19_8

A completely androgynous collection, there were undertaker-style long tailored jackets paired with trousers and shorts, with Osterman manifesting the Victorian secret obsession with sex, like Slack, with bondage-like details and choices in fabric. Lurking underneath all the bravado, however, was a surprisingly soft and wearable collection, with some fabulous knits and grandpa shirts both for the boys and the girls.

mummyblowpr

Finally upping the drama stakes was Iris van Herpen, with a slow and intense collection of sculpted leather and rubber – heavy and cumbersome pieces that were inspired by radiation waves around the body, results of collaboration with artist Bart Hess.

fw_sat19_3

Proving a fantastic metaphor as a means of highlighting parts of the human body, this was true craftsmanship, with sequins and reflective panels catching the catwalk lights – as the models lined up together for the final few moments they seemed like soldiers with armour constructed from artwork.

IMG_0678

A rather fascinating foursome on show, then, and at least Lady GaGa will have some new things to wear with those big pants of hers – well until next season anyway.


charlielemindu

After witnessing a whole lot of jolly sensible fashion trends being bandied about – think short, medical sleek, find sophisticated and feminine – we were thrilled to see a total vision of insanity at the Blow Presents… show where the models barely human, side effects let alone feminine. Ladies and gents, meet the new woman of 2010: the Fembot.

blowpresentsfembot

Wigmaker Charlie le Mindu’s collection made Danielle Scutt’s hairstyling look positively placid: models were bombing down the catwalking with “haute coiffure” teetering atop their tiny heads, like a warped modern paraphrase of 18th century wigs.

BlowpresentsCharliedelemindu

Squeezed into flesh-coloured PVC bodysuits, these were pneumatic bodies that resembled genetically mutated Barbies, with the hairpieces swelling into jackets (bearing a strong resemblance to Margiela’s two seasons ago) or even shoulder pads, evidently a trend that translates into the most avant-garde of arenas.

charlie

Margiela reared his head again with Gemma Slack’s collection, who by masking her models also evinced a preoccupation with the concealing of the face. With pieces constructed from leather and suede, it was a bold collection that turned the models into superheroes and warriors, with the conical bras making another resurgence as seen with Louise Goldin’s latest offering.

gemmaslack

The inclusion metal studs and slashed leather also made it profoundly sexual – with the oppressive metal-plated umbrella and circular skirts mechanising the body, a territory previously explored, of course, by Hussein Chalayan. Unlike Chalayan this mechanisation was also sexualised, with the constant sado-masochistic details (even the traditional Burmese neck rings looked more like dog collars) in line with uncomfortable images of fetishised modernity that J.G Ballard expressed in Crash.

fw_sat19_8

Next up was Lina Osterman, with a show styled by Robbie Spencer, with a evocation of Victoriana repression playing with the effects of concealing the body – a difference so far for a series of shows that has been all about long, bare legs.

fw_sat19_8

A completely androgynous collection, there were undertaker-style long tailored jackets paired with trousers and shorts, with Osterman manifesting the Victorian secret obsession with sex, like Slack, with bondage-like details and choices in fabric. Lurking underneath all the bravado, however, was a surprisingly soft and wearable collection, with some fabulous knits and grandpa shirts both for the boys and the girls.

mummyblowpr

Finally upping the drama stakes was Iris van Herpen, with a slow and intense collection of sculpted leather and rubber – heavy and cumbersome pieces that were inspired by radiation waves around the body, results of collaboration with artist Bart Hess.

fw_sat19_3

Proving a fantastic metaphor as a means of highlighting parts of the human body, this was true craftsmanship, with sequins and reflective panels catching the catwalk lights – as the models lined up together for the final few moments they seemed like soldiers with armour constructed from artwork.

IMG_0678

A rather fascinating foursome on show, then, and at least Lady GaGa will have some new things to wear with those big pants of hers – well until next season anyway.

Year of the Flood

It could be a sequestered, dosage slimy corner of any 21st century metropolis, order the “small square yard where the trash bins were kept – the ones for the carbon garboil trash and the other kind. Then there was a board fence, approved and on the other side of it there was a vacant lot where a building had burned down. Now it was just hard earth with pieces of cement and charred wood and broken glass, and weeds growing on it.” But, for a group of kids in the un-located urban ‘pleebs’ of Margaret Atwood’s ‘The Year of the Flood’, this grim patch is school. Here, they’re engrossed in their Predator-Prey Relations class one day, and stumbling on the corpse of a woman the next, her dumped body still bearing the glossy green scales of the costume that once glistened as she swung from the trapeze in the strip joint next door.

‘The Year of the Flood’ makes for uneasy albeit enthralling reading, and not just because both the city and society depicted in it are, but for a few glinting exceptions, beyond ugly. What’s really unnerving is that they’re so familiar. And that’s just why Margaret Atwood’s ‘Year of the Flood’ is so potent, why the Canadian author’s crown as one of the most important writers of contemporary fiction remains fixed 40 years after she published her first novel, ‘The Edible Woman’: her apocalyptic visions are too close for comfort for us to ignore.

Atwood_London

Defying critics’ attempts to crack the bones of her work and fold it neatly into a single, constricted literary genre (in her case, Science Fiction), Atwood once told The Guardian that “science fiction has monsters and spaceships; speculative fiction could really happen,” and, in ‘The Year of the Flood’, Atwood’s speculative muscles are given a damn good flex. The novel’s ‘waterless flood’ epidemic mows mankind down in a tidal wave of airborne ferocity, and the reactions of its characters to that event, each other and the world that it creates holds a distant mirror to the reader and our reality. Reflected are real-life recent health hysterics and individuals’ behaviour in the light of them, plus the tales – both heroic and horrific – that still float on the wake of modern-day disasters such as 2005’s New Orleans floods.

Preachy? Undoubtedly some will see it that way, but at least Atwood can’t be accused of not putting her messages into practice. The tour that accompanies ‘The Year of the Flood’s publication has been a carbon-neutral, veggie-vowing, community-centric, eco-conscious green sweep, with local performers joining Atwood to bring the book’s characters and their songs (yes, you read that right…) to life at each stop. If you missed it, the author has been chronicling the trip, its trials and its triumphs at her blog.

Whatever messages readers absorb from Atwood’s tales, they’re always coated by a tasty narrative dripping with juicy characters to help them slip down more easily. A post-graduate pole-dancer with a penchant for wearing feathers, a woman who flits from her horrific burger-flipping job to defending a fortress in the shape of a top-end spa, and the man who makes it his job to save mankind from itself – these are the people who act as the eyes, ears and mouths of ‘The Year of the Flood’. The fictional foreboding that they dish up in turn adds Atwood’s voice to the likes TckTckTck, Greenpeace and Climate Rush, the active chorus hoping to inspire us to reassess the choices we make, through protest or performance. Atwood, as always, does it by the book.

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